Samford Church "Destructive Cult"
25 June, 2008
The Courier-Mail, Brisbane
A Brisbane Pentecostal church has been labelled a cult that destroys marriages and family relationships.
The charges which featured on the ABC's Four Corners program on Monday, were made by several people who have left the Brisbane Christian Fellowship church at Samford on the northside.
One of the women, Helen Pomery, told the Courier Mail yesterday that if the church were not exposed, then other people would suffer hurt and be abused. She urged other people to speak out.
Another man who did not want to be named, said he had left the church in 2005 after 20 years and was suffering serious depression.
He said he had been involved with three Fellowship congregations - at Maryborough, Brisbane and, most recently, at Toowoomba.
The man said he had been bullied and humiliated by church elders. He said the elders "take control over every aspect of your life - what job you have, where your kids go to school and where you live".
Brisbane Christian Church Fellowship president Victor Hall and the church secretary Alan Elliott did not return The Courier Mail's calls yesterday.
Mr Hall preaches doctrines of "perfection", which is designed to shape a person in readiness for Christ's second coming and "headship", which holds that women are subordinate to men.
The annual corporate return of the Brisbane Christian Fellowship, seen by The Courier Mail, shows the church's income for 2006 was nearly $4.2 million, with another $3.6 million last year.
Major outgoings for last year included ministerial expenses of $1.4 million. The church has nearly $4.7 million in cash assets.
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